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Comment Treadmill was cheap, good and noisy (Score 1) 340

I made myself a standing treadmill desk for my faculty job, and generally liked it. I got a normal treadmill from Craigslist and a desk from IKEA. I tended to walk a good deal when I had typing to do and the work did not require a full mental effort. I could never get writing to go easily while walking, and there was something about the walking process on the treadmill that required some of my CPU cycles (in contrast to regular walking outside, which does not). So: marking papers using MS Word - yes, marking papers with pen - no, thinking hard about a research problem - no.

I tended to walk about 1-4 miles a day, depending on the type of work I had to do, and how much of it was in the office vs. lab vs. lecture room.

The main drawback with a cheap, regular (not designed for office use), used treadmill was the noise. It was pretty loud. I put some rubber mats under the base to deaden the noise a bit, which was sufficient for my downstairs neighbor, but it was still too loud for me next-door neighbor. That would be the main driver to get a "real" office walking treadmill, which are quieter, and are optimized for walking, not running speeds.

Pic here.

Comment "Most" more than 1Ka? How about *all* far older. (Score 1) 31

Is somebody claiming that some of the cometary material is less than 1Ka (kilo-annum) old? I doubt that any of that material is younger than 3Ga, and probably older than 5Ga. Perhaps they mean that the material was mostly dislodged from the comet over 1000 years ago. Fine, but that's not the age of the material, which is generally taken to mean the age at which the material came to be in its present state (vs. location).

Pirates as a Marketplace 214

John Riccitiello, the CEO of Electronic Arts, made some revealing comments in an interview with Kotaku about how the company's attitudes are shifting with regard to software piracy. Quoting: "Some of the people buying this DLC are not people who bought the game in a new shrink-wrapped box. That could be seen as a dark cloud, a mass of gamers who play a game without contributing a penny to EA. But around that cloud Riccitiello identified a silver lining: 'There's a sizable pirate market and a sizable second sale market and we want to try to generate revenue in that marketplace,' he said, pointing to DLC as a way to do it. The EA boss would prefer people bought their games, of course. 'I don't think anybody should pirate anything,' he said. 'I believe in the artistry of the people who build [the games industry.] I profoundly believe that. And when you steal from us, you steal from them. Having said that, there's a lot of people who do.' So encourage those pirates to pay for something, he figures. Riccitiello explained that EA's download services aren't perfect at distinguishing between used copies of games and pirated copies. As a result, he suggested, EA sells DLC to both communities of gamers. And that's how a pirate can turn into a paying customer."

Creating 3D Environments Without Polygons 74

Igor Hardy writes "I've conducted an interesting interview concerning a new episodic indie adventure game series called Casebook. What's quite uncommon, especially for these kinds of independently developed and published productions, is that they include professionally created FMV — all of the footage is filmed in real locations. Yet what's even more interesting is that the games use an innovative photographic technology which recreates a fully explorable 3D environment through the use of millions of photos instead of building from polygons. The specifics of how it works are explained by Sam Clarkson, the creative director of the series."

Submission + - Mystery About Earth's Mantle May Be Solved

explosivejared writes: "Recent observations made by the University of British Columbia may give insight to an old question about the composition of Earth's mantle, precisely why Earth's mantle doesn't resemble chondrite more. The article discusses the findings of John Hernlund about how the dynamics of magma account for the discrepancies in the theoretical composition of Earth and the actual composition of the mantle."

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